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Rated: E · Non-fiction · Biographical · #2284994
Reflection of seventy-six (76) years well spent!
It is 12:20 a.m., November 13, 2022. Seventy-six (76) years ago, at 10:00 a.m., my mother, Florence H. B. Williams, gave birth to me. I weighed in at 10 pounds.

My name had already been decided some years earlier when my mother read Paul Lawrence Dunbar's poem "When Malindy Sings," and one of my Uncles returned from France during World War 2 and thought Genevia would be a perfect name for a little girl. My grandfather, James Anderson Brown, agreed. Thus, I became Malinda Genevia.
I was born at home in a big white house with a white fence with blue milk of magnesia bottles on every fence post. I was delivered by a midwife, my granddaddy's oldest sister, Mrs. Janie Barnes, who was freed from slavery in 1865 and raised my grandfather. Aunt Janie was one hundred and seven (107) when she died.

My journey has been good, with many ups and downs and even a few complete spin-around. A few stops along the way produced four children (Shalinda, William, Nneka, and Ashika) who in turn produced more than seventeen (17) (a few of their children did not make it) living grandchildren who have so far produced twelve (12) great-grandchildren.

My seventy-six years journey took me through many jobs, from cotton, tobacco, peanuts, deer-tongue, pine cones, and watermelon fields to two executive directors jobs to sixteen years as mayor of a city. There were lots of titles in between, as well as lots of educational opportunities.

Along the way, I met a host of friends, associates, and others who helped to further my journey. I was able to identify some heroes and heroes who allowed me to stand on their shoulders, peek at the world, and choose paths.

Several of my jobs allowed me to see forty-four (44) states, more than twelve (12) islands, and two (2) territories. Several states I got to see and visit many times. I've traveled alone and with others, and I have met people from all over the world and enjoyed the company of most.

Traveling through the past seventy-six (76) years has allowed me to appreciate life, not take anything for granted, and to take some risks. Life is not short when you have lived seventy-six years (76). But it certainly does seem like it moves a lot faster. You also lose a lot of family members and friends along the way, and each loss takes a tiny part of you with them. However, the memories you create with them linger behind to keep you focused and keep them alive.
Looking back over the past twelve (12) months, I am thankful to have completed that journey with few incidents that I regret, but with the loss of some giants that I admired and will miss.

This morning, I am looking forward to the next twelve (12) months with hope, dreams, goals, opportunities, and a few risks I am anxious to take. No, I do not have a bucket list per se, but I do anticipate some changes in my life that are long overdue. Last year, 2021, I walked away from public life as an elected official. I also started the slow process of becoming independent and learning to enjoy the freedom of not constantly being on stage or even being politically or socially correct. During my next circle around the sun, I plan to write more, paint more often, travel at will, and drink more chocolate wine, at least until the thrill is gone and a new fade catches my fantasy.

I have often told others that I am a work in progress and living through last year, 2021, my awesome seventy-five (75), I realize that I am still a work in process. So, let this new journey begin, and may it be filled with joy, love, excitement, and new opportunities.

Florence Henrietta Brown Williams, (may you continue to rest in peace, and thank you for the life that you brought me into November 13, 1946), I still want that horse farm way out in the woods, and yes, I want to ride one of those horses daily. I'm just kidding, but I want to get in some riding, and I might even put in some effort this year to do just that. Congratulations, mother, on your 1946 bundle of joy seventy-six (76) years later. Wishing you were here today!

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